Just tonight, right before I was about to review this beer, a Twitter follower of mine tweeted me asking what they should try if they were the sort who had an affinity for Yuengling and/or the Samuel Adams Boston Lager. At first, my response was simply to reply to them with a link to my review of the Oskar Blues “Beerito,” which is itself a Mexican style lager. However now, sitting down to this, I feel perhaps that was too quick and easy and answer.
Before me I have a dark Mexican lager. The “Mexican” aspect to this being of course that it is, by and large, actually a Vienna style lager. This is a distinction in the world of lagers I have found few outside of the beer world really know about, but find this beer and the review to follow a perfect opportunity to dive into it. So, let’s get into this.
Here we have a dark, brown lager. This of course serves initially as a reminder that not all lagers are in fact yellow fizzy drinks, but some are actually of a darker persuasion. The most apt and ready comparison I can offer up here for easy and quick consumption then is to contrast the styles of Pilsner, Vienna and Helles styles, while reminding everyone that these are all lagers.
Within this brew, dark brown as it is, smelling of subtly roasted malts and a definitively lager yeast, we have Mexico’s seemingly favorite style, the Vienna. Beyond merely being a Vienna, this is in fact a dark (or dunkel) Vienna style. Still relying on the more thoroughly roasted grains prior to production, its darkness comes in part from the same process which brings us the porter and stout, that being longer roasting periods for the grains which in time, will become the malts.
This brew, while not overtly sweet in its flavor is one which provides an obvious examination of what longer or more thorough roasting of grains produces. In short, a darker color, heavier texture and richer overall taste. To take this brew, or those mentioned above and contrast them then against Helles or Pilsner styles, the difference is quite obvious to nearly everyone, as those are beers known for fizzier, yellow and transparent bodies, as well as overall zestier flavor profiles.
While it is true that 9 out of 10 beers consumed on Earth is a pilsner, the lager family itself extends far enough to where this 5.4% ABV standard is itself a closer cousin than even the Kolsch is in respect to original styling and truth to form. A favorite of our friends south of the border, Negra Modelo (“dark model” in English) is a product, unsurprisingly, of the Belgian beer giant Anheuser-Busch Inbev and is thus available nearly everywhere beer is sold. These corporate roots not withstanding however, I do find this to be a rather enjoyable and easy sip.
So to Negra Modelo, to Inbev; the Ingsoc of beers and of course to you, I say as always…
While the brewery may have provided the product mentioned above for free, I was not required to write a positive review, I did not receive any monetary compensation, and the honest opinions I have expressed are my own.
Nicholas Goroff is an actor, writer and craft beer reviewer at EveryJoe.com. Certified as a Cicerone beer server, he is working towards obtaining certification as a beer judge while employed at Bert’s Better Beers in Hooksett, NH. When not reviewing beer, wine and spirits, he is typically writing political essays, screenplays and short fiction. Follow him on Twitter @wizardofcause.
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